Articles/Essays From Pagans
May 19th. 2013 ...
The Role of Identity in Magic
Talking Trash? It's a Dirty Subject but Waste Happens.
My Wiccan Journey
13 Keys: The Victory of Netzach
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
The Third Path
Nothing Special... Part Two
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
A Witch in the Closet
How Many People Can You Fit Under An Umbrella?
Gut Hunches, Mouse Dreams, and Pinkie Sense
December 30th. 2012 ...
Ritual "Cheat Sheet" Bracelet
Magick is All Around Us
Confessions of a Living Satyr
A Tiny Bit of Belly Dance History
December 23rd. 2012 ...
The Warrior Goddess and You.
World Change: A Message from Greece
What's the Meaning of Life, Anyway?
My Brother's Keeper
December 16th. 2012 ...
Keeping Christ in Xmas
Love is the Law
Listen to Your Heart's Wisdom
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Your Moral Compass: Cursework for College
Article ID: 15044
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 341
Times Read: 2,779
RSS Views: 17,783
Author: Deborah Castellano
Posted: June 17th. 2012
Times Viewed: 2,779
A while back I foolishly agreed to teach Hoodoo 101 to the college kids in the Pagan club at my alma mater. And I like promised the president that there would be absolutely no discussion on curse work whatsoever.
About that. So I'm droning about the history of Hoodoo and the differences between Hoodoo and Voodou and how it came to our country and frankly even boring myself as the kids all were visibly twitching to have to listen to me and not text or be boning each other out while their roommates watch while rolling on E pills or whatever they're doing now but we all brighten up when I get to the practical applications that I carefully redacted to be both appropriate to college kids' needs and not discussing The Dark Arts.
We chatter about fast luck and how to do well in an interview blah de blahblah. They get interested and ask about source books. Of course, I recommend cat yronwode's seminal work, but there's not like a redacted version of it so I say vaguely that it's not all positive work so keep that in mind and I kept it moving. Much like my lazy fat house cats they went from only vaguely aware of their surroundings to HIGH ALERT! BUG! BUG! IT'S A BUG!
Them: What do you mean?
The President: (suspious side eye)
Them: No, we're totes awake now and ready and willing to push back our E pill orgy and pizza party in dorm room party for this.
Me: The President and I spoke on this issue and it's specifically against your club's charter for me to discuss this.
The President: (approving to me, apologetic to them)
Them: You have said the words we have longed to hear! Forbidden knowledge! It's why we came to college! That and getting away from our smothering parents! (closes the door and shuts the blinds like a real sekrit society does!)
Me: (oh Lordess, I'm boned) (looks to The President)
The President: (nods)
I had a real moral quandary that I thought I had shielded myself from - do I tell them or do I let them learn about it on the streets the internet where the information will be just that - information coming from a source they've never met and has no stake in their lives or even a face to them? They are adults but they're still young and impressionable in American society and frankly have probably hereto forth never even read a book yet that even whispers about The Dark Arts, it's most likely been mostly beginner Llewellyn stuff.
I took a deep breath and I dove in:
“Okay. This is where your moral compass that we keep talking about becomes incredibly important. Karma doesn't work the way that most Americans think of it; it's slow, it's accumulated over lifetimes and it represents both the good and the bad. And while the Law of Three is a nice idea that's meant to keep you from getting involved in some seriously dumb stuff, it doesn't often work in a way that's observable. I can't tell you what the right thing to do is going to be for you. We don't have a manual or a list of rules to follow as Pagans like a lot of religions do. As young adult Pagans it's critical that you start figuring out what you think is right and wrong now.
What are you willing to do magically and in life? Where is your line in the sand that goes too far? Whenever you work magic, you're thrusting your will over something. Do you need consent for you to do magic for another person? You need to decide that. You need to decide if you want to get involved with exerting your will over other people specifically. A mentor of mine once told me that some of the worst things she's done magically have been with good intentions and some of the best things she's done have been with bad intentions.
You also need to understand that in Hoodoo, curse work is called a mess for a reason. Do not get yourself into a mess that you can't get yourself out of because I'm sure as hell not going to rush in to help you. Don't ever rush into curse work. If you're angry and not being sensible, it's not a good place to do curse work, you will likely do something you regret. Always give it at least three days to see if you want to tie yourself up further with the person you're angry with because make no mistake about it, you will be tying yourself up closer with this person.
Sometimes it will be worth it. Sometimes it won't be. Sometimes your magic will work in a way you won't expect it to. Oftentimes it will in fact. Sometimes it will work better than you wanted it to. Love spells are all fun and games until you need to get a restraining order on someone. You need to think about if you want someone to be with you because they feel compelled to be. You need to make sure to do omen/divination work before you get involved with cursing. Bottle spells can work like this. Love spells can work like that.
Make sure you are mindful about your personal concerns. Make sure you are mindful about others' personal concerns that may behoove you to have. When I once asked a Witch what to do if you don't have them, she calmly remarked, 'But why wouldn't you?' If you're not willing to do what a curse work asks, you're likely not really ready to take that step. And that's okay. It's okay if you never work a curse in your life. But make sure you know if someone's been working you. Most of the time, no one is working on you. Know the difference between crossed conditions, random bad luck and focused ill intention. Get a second opinion.”
And . . .that's where I stand on the whole morality issue when it comes to magical gray areas. It's personal. That's part of what's both great and terrible about being part of a group of people who don't have a list of specific rules to govern us, some of us are on board with things like love philters and some of us are appalled by it. Some of us say, well, it depends. But you need to know where you stand, you need to know where your conscious is and only you can really dictate that for yourself as an Occultist/Pagan. It's thrilling, scary and uncertain, just like the Universe.
Personal Concerns - http://forum.luckymojo.com/personal-concerns-hair, -photo, -etc-questions-and-answers-t9215s150.html
Location: , New Jersey
Author's Profile: To learn more about Deborah Castellano - Click HERE
Bio: Deborah blogs regularly over at Charmed, I'm Sure: A Finishing School for Dropout Dilettantes Discussing Charms, Hexes, Housewifery, Hearth Witchery and Deportment
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